PRS reforms ‘threaten accommodation provision’ for future Edinburgh festival goers
Thousands of performers and festival goers at future Edinburgh Festivals could struggle to find a place to stay or face higher costs for accommodation if planned reforms to private rented housing come into effect in Scotland, a landlord group has warned.
The National Landlords Association (NLA) said planned reforms, expected to come into effect in December 2017, aim to replace existing Short Assured Tenancy agreements (SATs) with potentially indefinite tenancies with no fixed end dates.
Currently, student landlords play a major role in accommodating the estimated 400,000 visitors who make their way to Edinburgh every summer to see the very best and bizarre in comedy, music and theatre, by using SATs to offer 10-month tenancies to students and then short-term lets during the Festivals.
However, the NLA has argued that the planned changes will mean that landlords will no longer be able to offer fixed-term tenancy agreements. Instead, renters will have control over when their tenancy will end and will only have to give 28 days’ notice when they wish to move out.
The independent organisation is warning that the situation is likely to lead to a shortage of accommodation, as student landlords will no longer be able to guarantee properties will be available during the Edinburgh Festivals.
Carolyn Uphill, chairman of the NLA, said: “The Scottish Government wants a system of simpler tenancies which provides more security to renters, but this commitment will come at the expense of one of the country’s best established traditions.
“Student renters will be reluctant to move out until they have secured future lodgings for the next academic year. This will create a shortage of housing as landlords will no longer be able to guarantee they can meet the demand for temporary lets created during the Festivals.
“In turn, this will push tourists and performers into harder-to-find, higher-cost hotel rooms and put future festivals under threat.”